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DIF plans fourth round of assets investment

May 29. 2019
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Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (DIF) has announced its intention to make a fourth round of investment in telecommunications infrastructure assets and financing by raising up to Bt15.8 billion through an offering of up to 1.050 billion newly issued units to the existing unitholders.

Narongsak Plodmechai, chief executive officer of SCB Asset Management, the management company of DIF, has revealed that DIF, Thailand’s first and largest telecommunications infrastructure fund, is looking to make its fourth round of investment in infrastructure assets with a combined value of up to Bt15.8 billion, in line with its strategy for continuous growth. 

DIF currently owns and holds the right to net revenue from 15,271 telecommunications towers. It also owns and holds long-term leasehold interests in and the right to net revenue from approximately 2.7 million core kilometres of optical fibre cable. 

Moreover, it owns an upcountry broadband system with a capacity of 1.2 million ports. Its net asset value as of March 31, 2019 stood at Bt150.2896 billion.

The telecom infrastructure assets of True Group in which DIF will invest in its fourth round of additional investment comprise the following:

1. Ownership of 749 telecommunication towers on ground and approximately 39 telecommunication towers on building rooftops, totalling 788 towers, all of which are ready for use and most of which are no more than one year old.

2. Ownership of fibre optic cables (FOC), which are currently used for the provision of mobile phone services upcountry, with a distance of 1,795 kilometres (or about 107,694 core kilometres).

3. Ownership of FOC, which are currently used to support the FTTx technology for the provision of Internet and broadband Internet services in Greater Bangkok, and upcountry provinces, with a total distance of approximately 315 kilometres (or approximately 40,823 core kilometres) and approximately 617 kilometres (or approximately 37,505 core kilometres), respectively.

4. Ownership of FOC, which are currently used to support the FTTx technology for the provision of Internet and broadband Internet services in upcountry provinces, with a total distance of 2,797 kilometres (or about 109,704 core kilometres).

The only source of funds to be used in the investment will be from an increase in its registered capital. DIF will increase the company’s registered capital by no more than Bt10,500,000,000, from Bt 96,379,430,540 to Bt106,879,430,540. 

The number of newly issued units at a par value of Bt 10 will be issued and offered proportionately to the existing shareholders whose names appear on the share register book. The issue will not exceed 1.05 billion units. The offering period will be announced later .

DIF will propose this plan for approval at an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund Unitholders No 1/2019, to be held on June 21, 2019. A list of unitholders eligible to attend the meeting have been published. 

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US ban on Huawei unlikely to affect Vietnam smartphone market: report

US restrictions on Huawei are unlikely to affect the Vietnamese smartphone market or phone retailers.

 According to the latest market strategy report by the VNDirect Securities Co, Huawei’s smartphone market share in Vietnam was only 4 per cent and worth 2.65 trillion dongs (US$114 million) last year.

Besides, though Huawei was the world’s second largest seller last year, the brand is not too strong in Vietnam and there are many substitutes in the mid-range price category such as Oppo, Xiaomi and Nokia, it said.

The market is dominated by Samsung, Oppo and Apple with respective shares of 41.1 per cent, 22.7 per cent and 8.6 per cent. Another Chinese brand, Xiaomi, had a 6 per cent share, it showed.

On May 15, the US Commerce Department placed Huawei and its 70 affiliates on a trade blacklist, making it harder for the Chinese telecom giant to buy parts and components from US companies.

A study by GCS-CIMB predicts this ban would drive down Huawei’s smartphone sales in international markets by 40 per cent year-on-year in 2019, while sales of Oppo and Xiaomi would surge 60 per cent and 43 per cent.

In Vietnam, VNDirect expects an insignificant effect on FPT Retail and Mobile World, the two retailers distributing Huawei.

For them, sales of Huawei smartphones account for just 4-6 per cent of total sales. But both retailers face inventory risk and have ongoing contracts for installment payment of Huawei products.

VNDirect mentioned two possible scenarios: Huawei and its partners would share costs and liquidate the inventories by reducing prices and promotions or Huawei would buy back the stocks from partners like Samsung did with Galaxy Note 7 after the battery incident.– Viet Nam News 

 

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